Birthday Lines to K. B. [poem by Joseph Furphy]

[Editor: This poem by Joseph Furphy was published in The Poems of Joseph Furphy (1916). The poem was written for Kate Baker, who was born on 23 April 1861.]

Birthday Lines to K. B.

Life is a Poem, short or long,
A dismal Dirge, or jovial Song,
A Psalm of faith, or Lay of Pride,
One stanza by each year supplied.

And thy sweet Hymn of love and truth,
A carol of unfading youth,
Which God hath given thee to rehearse,
Enlightening others’ chequered way,
Is strengthened by a further verse
Upon the gracious April day.

K. B. [Kate Baker] (editor), The Poems of Joseph Furphy, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Co., 1916, page 37

Editor’s notes:
dirge = a song, chant, or music, especially of a mournful nature and slow, used for a funeral, memorial, or commemoration; a lamentation for the dead

K. B. = Catherine (Kate) Baker (1861-1953), a friend of Joseph Furphy; she was a major advocate of Furphy’s literary works and successfully campaigned for the critical recognition of his novel Such Is Life

lay = song, tune; ballad

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